Thursday, May 3, 2007

A Hotter France

A majority of French citizens view the 2003 Paris heat wave as a definite sign of global warming, but some politicians think it’s a load of hot air.

By: Vanessa Uy

As the 2003 Paris heat wave claim the lives of the elderly, it sparked a national crisis over the governments apparent inaction to mitigate such a tragedy. Even the neighboring countries have criticized the French government’s poor planning and pitiful response when faced with such a tragedy. Even the installation of air conditioning units on old people’s homes will only exacerbate the effects of global warming on a later date.

Global warming is also wrecking havoc on the French ski resorts especially in the Pyrénées Region. This stop- gap measure of using a battalion of energy hungry snow machines will only exacerbate the effects of global warming in the long run.

Several promising solutions include adopting a “greener” architecture both figuratively and literally. A number of environmentally conscious French citizens had upgraded the thermal insulation of their homes to save heating bills during the winter. This also has another positive effect of lessening the amount of heating fuel to be burned thus minimizing carbon dioxide emissions. Also rooftop gardens can have a cooling effect especially during the summer months. Plants like bamboo has a very effective cooling effect on its surroundings. The electricity saved can also lessen the “carbon footprint” of individual homes.

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